Military Review

MPF tanks are preparing for military tests


MPF by BAE Systems

The US Army announces the imminent start of the next phase of the Mobile Protected Firepower (MPF) program. At present, the program participants are completing the necessary work and the construction of the ordered equipment. Then, comparative tests of two samples will begin on the basis of the military unit. The main results of such an audit are planned to be received by the middle of next year.

On the eve of the test

According to the latest reports, tests of two versions of the MPF will take place at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. They will start in January next year and will last until June. 24 armored vehicles will operate on various routes, show their fire characteristics and demonstrate ease of use. In addition, the equipment will be tested by shelling using various weapons.

Now preparatory work is being carried out at the base responsible for the tests. Specialists are preparing routes for sea trials and firing lines for checking weapons. By the beginning of next year, Fort Bragg will be able to accept all the vehicles involved in testing.

All previously announced plans are reportedly still in force. Starting in June 2021, the Pentagon will study the results of military tests. The winner of the MPF program will be selected in 2022, at which time a serial production contract will appear. The first Tanks will enter the troops in 2025

Competitors at work

Two promising tanks from General Dynamics Land Systems (GDLS) and BAE Systems will compete for the contracts of the military department. Currently, development organizations are busy building experimental equipment for future tests. In accordance with contracts dated December 2018, they must deliver 12 prototype tanks each.

One-type machine on assembly

This year, GDLS and BAE Systems have highlighted their current successes in the context of MPF on numerous occasions. New messages of this kind appeared in early October. GDLS reports that three tanks have been handed over to the Pentagon so far, and two of them are already being tested. At the Aberdeen Proving Ground, sea trials of one of them are being carried out, and the shooting will begin soon. The second was sent to the Yuma test site, where it serves as a training aid for future crews.

Five more tanks have been built and are being prepared for delivery to the customer. After the necessary checks, they will be handed over to the army to participate in the following events. Acceptance certificates are expected to be signed by the end of this year.

BAE Systems, as in the recent past, does not disclose the exact details of the production of its MPFs. However, it is known that by now she has managed to build several experimental armored vehicles. Apparently, BAE Systems is not inferior to its competitor in terms of the pace of work, and by the beginning of next year the Pentagon will receive all the ordered tanks.

Earlier, representatives of development companies talked about some time shift. Due to the pandemic and anti-epidemic measures, the pace of work at the GDLS and BAE Systems factories has dropped significantly. As a result, the timing of the transfer of experimental equipment was shifted by several months - and with them all other activities. However, the customer does not consider this a serious problem and a threat to future rearmament.

Test objectives

The purpose of future tests is to directly compare two pieces of equipment during operation in the army unit. The military will determine which of the vehicles shows the best level of protection and higher firepower. They will also appreciate the convenience of combat work, maintenance and operation in general.

Experienced tank from GDLS

The MPF program has specific objectives, which have led to a number of distinctive requirements. The proposed machines will have to show how much they meet the customer's wishes. First of all, tanks require a special combination of strategic and tactical mobility, protection and firepower.

The dimensions and weight of MPF tanks are limited by the capabilities of military transport aircraft. One such vehicle should be transported by a C-130 transporter, and a heavy C-17 should carry three units. Despite this, armored vehicles must have a high level of protection and powerful weapons. In the course of future tests, it is necessary to determine whether the developers managed to meet the specified limits without sacrificing combat qualities.

The promising MPF tank will have to actively interact with the infantry, other armored vehicles, aviation and artillery. To do this, he must have communication equipment that ensures inclusion in the current and future contours of command and control. In the course of future comparisons, the Pentagon will determine which of the proposed tanks is better suited for interaction.

After testing

Less than six months have been allocated to conduct military tests of two types of equipment. Then they will spend at least six months analyzing the collected data and choosing a winner. In 2022, an order for serial production of equipment is expected. The plans for this stage are already known and have not yet been adjusted.

At the moment, it is planned to purchase about 55-60 MPF tanks. The first order will stipulate the assembly of 26 machines. Then a contract for 28 more tanks may appear. In addition, they can order the repair and modernization of 8 experimental machines with further transfer to combat units. The equipment for these orders will enter the troops from 2025. Probably, its production will take no more than a few years.

Obviously, the production of MPF will not be limited to 55-60 armored vehicles. This technique is intended to strengthen the infantry formations and will have to take over part of the tasks of the main tanks. Thus, the US Army requires hundreds of such armored vehicles, and re-equipping parts can take a lot of time.

Applicants for victory

The results of the MPF competition are difficult to predict. Within the framework of the program, two armored vehicles were developed with a number of common features and characteristics. At the same time, there are certain differences that can affect the overall capabilities and, as a result, the choice of the customer. There is no clear program leader.

GDLS offers a light tank on the chassis of an Ajax infantry fighting vehicle, equipped with a full fighting compartment with a 105 or 120 mm cannon. An advanced fire control system based on modern components is used. The standard armor of the hull and turret can be supplemented with overhead elements, which together provide protection against small-caliber shells and other threats.

BAE Systems developed its own version of the MPF based on the M8 light tank, created in the mid-nineties and not accepted into service. The original design was finalized and equipped with new units and devices, taking into account the modern wishes of the customer. A tank of this type will be able to find targets at any time of the day and attack them using a 105-mm cannon.

Both projects were created according to the same tactical and technical requirements. In addition, there is a unification for some components and assemblies. As a result, the declared technical and combat characteristics of the two light tanks are on the same level, and therefore there is no clear favorite in the program yet.

Ongoing preliminary tests involving several prototypes are needed to refine the designs and correct existing shortcomings. Future tests at Fort Bragg have a different goal. The Pentagon is going to receive new tanks in sufficient quantities and study them in real-life conditions, incl. using at landfills.

Comparative tests are expected to more accurately establish the differences between the two machines and determine their suitability for actual use. These processes will bring the final of the program closer and determine the future appearance of the US Army. However, in the coming weeks and months, the main task will be to complete the assembly of the necessary prototype tanks and prepare the training grounds.
Photos used:
US Army, BAE Systems
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  1. Mavrikiy
    Mavrikiy 20 October 2020 06: 26
    The mechanic drive hatch is like that of the T-34, on an inclined front plate, funny and fun. smile All of us are tyrat. crying
    1. Asad
      Asad 20 October 2020 06: 34
      Where can you install it?
    2. pytar
      pytar 20 October 2020 15: 15
      The hatch of the mechanical drive is like that of the T-34, on an inclined front plate, funny and fun. All of us are tyrat.

      Compare the angle of inclination of the frontal top sheets for both machines.

      In 34, due to the fact that they did not have time to assemble the motor transversely, they had to move the towers in front. There was no place left for the hatch of the mechanic drive, which was sung BY DEMAND, they put it on the front sheet, weakening it in this way. Torsion bars were installed on the T-44, space was made for the transverse arrangement of the engine. The turret was pushed back and the mechanic drive hatch was immediately moved to the top sheet of the hull.
      In the experienced GDLS tank, the upper frontal sheet begins with the shoulder straps of the turret, which makes it possible to reduce the horizontal slope angle, and the mechanical drive hatch has a slight slope, which is almost exactly horizontal. It is protected by direct hit.

      The advantage is the lower weight of the armor, but the tank is light, obviously trying to reduce the weight while maintaining the maximum possible protection.
      The disadvantage of this line-up is that the front view - downward is somewhat deteriorated.
    3. sh3roman
      sh3roman 25 October 2020 21: 23
      And we stole Christi from the tank, which he sold in '30, and we called it BT, so who's what tyril ????
  2. OgnennyiKotik
    OgnennyiKotik 20 October 2020 09: 17
    They are in a great hurry, they really need it. Modern wars show that maneuverability, stealth, KAZ, situational awareness, mine protection are becoming more important than armor. When gaining air superiority, a meeting with MBT, massed anti-tank forces is impossible. Lots of mobile groups. New light and medium tanks are needed to create and counter them.
    1. The Word of the Word
      The Word of the Word 20 October 2020 11: 21
      From KAZ in the media they create an image of a wundarwafele) ... What will happen to the cardboard tank when the KAZ is inoperative (damage to sensors, sensors, radar with small arms by splinters, the KAZ's ammunition load runs out) and the tank gets on board from the RPG-7 ?? Yes, and at short distances KAZ will not save. Will not have time to react.
      1. OgnennyiKotik
        OgnennyiKotik 20 October 2020 11: 52
        Quote: Word Rule
        What will happen to the cardboard tank when the KAZ is inoperative (damage to sensors, sensors, radar with small arms by fragments, the KAZ ammunition will run out)

        Well, shoot from small arms at the tank, as it is sung "to the madness of the brave we sing a song"
        Quote: Word Rule
        the tank will get on board from the RPG-7

        Who will give the grenade launcher to approach the tank at a distance of 300-400 meters? More distant distances from 7ki makes no sense to shoot, not to hit.
        Quote: Word Rule
        Yes, and at short distances KAZ will not save. Will not have time to react.

        For KAZ, there is no difference from 100 meters or 100 kilometers, a shot is fired. Its radar operates at a distance of about 50 meters from the object of protection, the defeat occurs at a distance of 20-30 meters. KAZ Arena:
        1. The Word of the Word
          The Word of the Word 20 October 2020 21: 41
          1. The radar station of the KAZ tank can be destroyed by a sniper.
          2. The shelling of the turret of the tank from large-caliber machine guns or from small-caliber guns mounted on the carts. He fired at and disappeared. Either the KAZ will be damaged and will not be able to function normally, or it will be discharged for this queue.
          3. Most of the Abrams in Iraq (in all campaigns) were hit precisely in the side projections and precisely from the RPG-7. Who let them do this?)
          4. There is a difference. And the difference for KAZ depends on the reaction speed of the KAZ itself, on the speed of the anti-tank ammunition itself and the distance from which it is fired.
          PS KAZ cannot replace full-fledged inert armor and dynamic protection. Add - yes, but not replace.
          1. The comment was deleted.
          2. _Ugene_
            _Ugene_ 20 October 2020 23: 31
            You can pick up the right sword for any shield, but this does not mean that shields are not needed and you can fight naked. KAZ can be used or not, if there is one. But if it is not there, then there is nothing to choose from.
        2. blackice
          blackice 21 October 2020 05: 08
          Let's check what will happen to this masterpiece of electronics when the HE charge hits?
          Also, the RPG-7 is like mud. How many shots will it take for the KAZ to squander its reflective ammunition?
          Now let's calculate the economy and understand that a handful of mujahideen with RPG-7s is hundreds of thousands of times cheaper than one such wunderwafele.
          Remember WWII and the expensive Tiger versus the not very expensive T-34.
          War is not only high technology, but also the economy.
          Mattress toppers allow themselves not to save while they print dollars themselves, and even then they do not always do well, and the debt is growing. But when they ask for all the debts. wink
          1. Boris Chernikov
            Boris Chernikov 21 October 2020 20: 29
            from 125 mm? one-shot
            1. blackice
              blackice 25 October 2020 03: 05
              It's just that there are lovers here to speculate like Alkanafter on YouTube.
              So if this whole electronic kitchen is on the abrash-leo-merkava, then by anybody this super wunderwolf is invulnerable, the HE is not taken, because hitting the HE in the frontal projection does not harm the sensors + sights located on the tower of the tank, and all other ammunition in general, a priori, do not pierce this protection.
              However, if the same canoe is on Russian tanks, then all this is useless rubbish, because the hit of the simplest offensive grenade in one will detonate the ammunition of the entire unit.
              Now questions for minusatars:
              1. You put your minuses out of impotent anger that you cannot give arguments against my comm? I don't see any other explanations, it's stupid to stick in a minus and not write anything that refutes it.
              2. If the protection of these wunderwafels is so good (Merkava in particular), then why is the same Israel secreting the losses of its tanks?
              1. Boris Chernikov
                Boris Chernikov 25 October 2020 12: 39
                I can't disagree)
      2. sh3roman
        sh3roman 25 October 2020 21: 32
        So on t72, the side armor is now 80 mm, for RPG7 it is not an obstacle, if anything
  3. Oleg83
    Oleg83 20 October 2020 12: 43
    The dimensions and weight of MPF tanks are limited by the capabilities of military transport aircraft. One such vehicle should be transported by a C-130 transporter, and a heavy C-17 should take three units on board.

    In previous articles, they wrote that their weight is about 35 tons, and the C-130 has a carrying capacity of about 20 tons, apparently the author got it wrong.
    GDLS is preferred in my opinion
    This would suit the Marines (than the heavier Abrams), but they decided to abandon tanks altogether.
    1. Boris Chernikov
      Boris Chernikov 21 October 2020 20: 32
      they have a problem .. in the C-17 if there are 3 cars .. that means the maximum mass is 26 tons, then the forehead is 30 mm and the side is from 14,5 mm maximum, if 35 mm then in a circle from 30 mm in theory there will be protection although more likely 14,5 + dz blocks on the sides .... in principle, put the Octopus tower on the BMP-3m and there will be a similar machine, the current is better
  4. Victorm
    Victorm 22 October 2020 13: 25
    Mobile Protected Firepower

    More and more projects are implemented in this concept. China, Turkey, with some stretch Russia, the prototype was shown by the Poles.
    Previously, a similar role was assigned to light or tracked vehicles armed with a 90mm gun. At some point, they could not only provide support to the infantry, but also fight tanks. Later, many of them were gradually removed from service, as they were too vulnerable to wearable anti-tank systems. Now, due to the widespread introduction of modern devices and information technologies for lighting the situation, high data exchange rates, weapons similar to those of the MBT, has led to an increase in capabilities and, in theory, should affect survival for the better.
    And in terms of hardware, this is a classic concept of a tank destroyer - a light vehicle that could fight against tanks and provide support on the battlefield, and conduct reconnaissance.

    Pictured is an M36 tank destroyer armed with a 90mm gun.
  5. ZEMCH
    ZEMCH 23 October 2020 02: 44
    If we compare Sprut-SD and their prototypes, then they obviously do not fit in the specification by weight. Octopus weighs 18 tons, and they need to fit into a maximum of 26. Outwardly, there is clearly more than 8 tons of difference wink